Record-setting number of students apply to School of Dentistry
A record-setting year for applicants, 2006 brought precisely 2,006 applicants to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry.
Admissions officers interviewed approximately 400 applicants and spent 40 to 50 hours examining applications from promising candidates, and 93 students have been accepted into the dental class of 2010.
Fred Kasischke, DMin, associate dean, admissions, says that in a nutshell dentistry requires a love of science and love of working with your hands. In addition, to be congruent with the mission of the School, admissions officers look for service-oriented extracurriculars—tutoring, community involvement, altruistic activities.
“This doesn’t guarantee a commitment,” he says, “but we know the students have been exposed to the challenge of the underserved community. Our motto—‘Service is our calling’—makes our School distinct.”
Dr. Kasischke cites the role of dental alumni as significant in preparation of candidates, who perform a minimum of 20 hours of shadowing in a dental office. Alumni share memories of dental school, things they wish they had done, what they enjoyed most.
A score or more of dentists are also involved in predental clubs and classes at feeder institutions.
According to Dr. Kasischke, a majority of the applicants take a prep course—Kaplan or Princeton. Some also practice on Schoolware’s three mock tests formatted like the DAT, a test that comes with a timer and can be taken at home.